Since time immemorial India has produced a number of gems who have strengthened India’s place in history and earned the awe of the people from across the globe. Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan is one such addition to the long list of gems. He was born on 5th September in the year 1888. He was a teacher and a philosopher. In his words, “Teachers should be the best minds in the country”. His birthday is celebrated as the Teachers’ Day every year in India to mark his wisdom, knowledge and contribution I the development of the country and its students, the future citizens.
In 1962, the students and friends of Dr Radhakrishnan came together and requested his permission for they wanted to celebrate his birthday. Glad though he was, the great teacher and philosopher wanted this day to be held in greater importance than his birthday only. So he asked the enthusiastic people to celebrate the day as nationwide Teachers’ Day as teachers are, after all, one of the pillars of the society. Everyone agreed upon this proposal and since then, this day is observed as the Teachers’ Day in India.
Dr Radhakrishnan's perspective on education was very different. He believed that the right kind of education as delivered by a teacher can help in eradicating numerous societal problems and superstitious culture that prevails among a significant number of people to date. He wanted a thorough change in the education system as existing in the country by opting for a deeper connection between the teacher and student and changing the way of teaching too. He emphasized on the fact that a teacher and a student must have a good understanding and relationship that should help in imparting and gaining knowledge.
It was his belief that teachers lay the foundation for the future and hold utter responsibility for how good a citizen a student turns out to be. Teachers’ Day is not only a showcase for the acknowledgement towards teachers, but it also implies the recognition of the hard work the teachers put in for the holistic development of the students.
This day is celebrated with utter respect and excitements by the students of all ages. Students look forward to this day with a lot of anticipation. Students showcase their performances and teachers get delighted by those. Often, the students bring gifts to their favourite teachers as a token of appreciation and respect. The day does not only hold importance for students but the teachers also. They are once again reminded of how appreciated they are by the students. No official classes are held on this day in schools, colleges or universities.
Dr Sarvapali Radhakrishnan was an exceptionally great teacher and philosopher. We must carry forward his torch and fulfil our responsibilities towards our teachers with utter respect and humbleness. Dr Radhakrishnan breathed his last on 17th April 1975. But his legend is still alive and every year through the celebration of Teachers’ Day in India, he and his philosophies are remembered time and again.